Biden scores crocodile insurance for Aussie visit
CHIEF Minister Michael Gunner will officially invite freshly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to visit the Northern Territory - diplomatically offering to protect him with "complimentary crocodile insurance".
Mr Gunner, in an official letter seen by the NT News , will extend an offer to Mr Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden, or Vice President Kamala Harris, to follow in the footsteps of former President Barack Obama and visit the Territory.
"While I recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic currently makes international travel difficult, we would love to host you in this special part of the world, as soon as it is safe to do so," Mr Gunner said.
The Chief Minister highlighted the Territory's growing strategic role in the "security of the Asia-Pacific region, the close military relationship of the US and the NT through annual joint-training exercise Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D), and the ability of Territorians to show him a "bloody good time" as reasons for Mr Biden to visit.
Mr Obama was the last US President to visit the NT, making a pit stop in Darwin as part of his trip to Australia in 2011, where MRF-D was announced alongside then prime minister Julia Gillard.
The NT News famously welcomed the arrival of Mr Obama in 2011 with a front page photograph of the President, offering him free crocodile attack insurance with the Territory Insurance Office.
Sealing the move into tradition, Mr Gunner, in his invitation, reassured Mr Biden that "every President who visits the Northern Territory receives complimentary crocodile insurance".
But COVID-19 border restrictions mean the trip is likely to be delayed.
"Obviously it would be better to wait until the COVID situation is better, because rules are rules and the safety of Territorians comes first," Mr Gunner said. "Any overseas arrival to the Territory has to quarantine, even the leader of the free world."
In his first address to the nation, President Biden called for a lowering of the national temperature and to "end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban. Conservative versus liberal".
His first day in office included signing three executive orders - a mask mandate on federal property, support for under-served communities, and rejoining the Paris climate accord.
Originally published as Gunner to invite Joe Biden to the NT, offer 'croc insurance' for the trip